MSU No. 1 in KY for Elementary Program, Though No Institutions Fully Met Student Teaching Standards

Jun 20, 2014

Credit NCTQ

Updated 6/20/14 10:36 a.m.

A new National Council on Teacher Quality report has found that not a single Kentucky institution meets its standards for student teaching.

NCTQ says this is the most difficult standard to meet with only 5 percent of colleges and universities satisfying the group’s requirements. 

Programs must conduct at least four observations with feedback and have an active role in choosing cooperating teachers to pass the student teaching standard.

Murray State College of Education Dean David Whaley said while no school fully met the standards, MSU's did score two out of four in this category.

“Looking at our forms, there’s actually a line that has ‘approved’ underneath that requires a signature by our director of teacher education services,” Whaley said. “When we pressed NCTQ about why we received only two out of four that was the reason they gave us was because it was not apparent to them that we had the authority to decline a nomination of a cooperating teacher when in fact we really do."

Whaley also says although no school fully met NCTQ's standards, several including MSU met them partially and that it shouldn't be "all or nothing."

Kentucky colleges and universities this year met the national average in classroom management, with MSU  getting all four stars in the category. Kentucky institutions also exceeded the national average for elementary content preparation by 7 percentage points, while lacking in selectivity, early reading instruction and secondary content preparation.

Murray State’s Ranking Details

MSU scored much higher on the report this year than NCTQ’s first review last year.  Both elementary and secondary education programs at MSU made it into the national rankings. NCTQ ranks MSU’s elementary program 47th in the nation and the highest in Kentucky with its secondary program at 57th nationally and second behind University of Kentucky in the Commonwealth.

The 2013 report gave MSU’s elementary and secondary programs one and two star ratings on a four star scale.

Last year NCTQ was criticized by many in higher education for conducting only a paper analysis using syllabi, information on courses and textbooks. For the 2014 Teacher Prep Review, NCTQ switched to a ranking system but continued to base the report on a paper analysis.

Whaley said last year NCTQ did not reveal its standards, making it difficult for him to know what the group was looking for in the submitted documents.

“Now that we understand their standards and their methodology, their strategies for evaluating standards, it has equipped us with the ability to be able to demonstrate within our program what we do best,” he said.

Whaley also said he was in touch with NCTQ throughout the process, emailing questions back and forth about specific standards.

He said he is pleased with their overall results, but on issues NCTQ was critical of the program, like early reading, math and student teaching, he isn’t sure they saw the whole picture.